New club to celebrate Hispanic culture on campus

Latinx Student Association to hold salsa night Friday

Written By Lauren Clouser, Co-Features Editor

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Over the summer, junior Ailen Videla Ortiz developed an idea for an on-campus club that centered around Hispanic culture. Ortiz recruited the help of junior dance majors Cecilia Benitez and Stephanie Perez, and together the three began to gather interest for the club. 

“We kind of branched out to our other Latina/Latino friends that we knew about and asked them if they wanted to be part of this new club that we were starting and it was kind of growing from that,”
Benitez said. 

The Latinx Student Association was approved by USG on Oct. 8, and the organization has held one meeting so far. Ortiz said the club is planning to have biweekly meetings on Fridays. 

Ortiz said she created the club because of a lack of representation on campus. 

“We really want to bring the Latino and Latina community together and the culture, because I feel like that’s not really represented in this school,” Ortiz said. “We don’t have a club, and there’s so many of us and having everyone come together to educate and advocate and celebrate the Hispanic community.” 

Benitez said the group is currently brainstorming different ideas for the club, and has several plans for different events and activities. 

“We just kind of want to do potlucks later on and gather and talk about our experiences and maybe have a meeting that we conduct in Spanish and stuff like that,” Benitez said. 

Benitez said the group also wants to raise money for Puerto Rico. 

“We also wanted to do a drive. We talked about doing a drive for Puerto Rico that was hit by the hurricane pretty bad. We have to organize that,” Benitez said.

The club’s first event is a salsa dance night on Friday, Nov. 30. 

“It’s going to be salsa night and we’re going to have one of the students in the club teach salsa and provide some salsa and chips,” Ortiz said. 

The club is open to anyone who wants to join. Perez said part of the club’s main purpose is uniting the Latino/a community and to teach others about different Hispanic cultures. 

“[The goal is] to unite the people on campus who associate with Latino and Latina and then also not just to be exclusive but also share the culture, teach other students on campus who are interested in it and just bringing that spice to campus,” Perez said. 

Benitez said she hopes the club will provide a greater understanding of Hispanic culture to the campus. 

“For me, the thing is more awareness of what our culture is,” Benitez said. “There’s a lot of misconceptions and ignorance about it, and it’s just kind of making people aware that there’s a lot of different types of Latinas and Latinos and we’re not all from the same place. And just because we speak the same language, our cultures are very different, so just kind of educating people about that.” 

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